The ICC said in a statement Thursday that the U.S. attacks “constitute an escalation and an unacceptable attempt to interfere with the rule of law and the Court’s judicial proceedings”, Xinhua News Agency (Xinhua) reported Saturday.
Earlier on Thursday, the White House said in a statement that US President Donald Trump has authorised economic sanctions against ICC officials “directly engaged with any effort to investigate or prosecute United States personnel without the consent of the United States,” as well as the expansion of visa restrictions against these officials and their family members.
Noting that the US sanctions represent “an attack against the interests of victims of atrocity crimes, for many of whom the Court represents the last hope for justice,” the ICC, which has 123 member states, vowed it would stand firmly by its staff and remain “unwavering in its commitment to discharging, independently and impartially, the mandate bestowed upon it by the Rome Statute and the States that are party to it.”
The ICC in March authorised an investigation into possible war crimes in Afghanistan, including those that may have been committed by the US military and the Central Intelligence Agency, which could lead to the indictment of U.S. military and intelligence personnel.
The ICC was established when the Rome Statute took effect in 2002. It prosecutes crimes of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression.